Is it more advantageous to sit in a training course or read a really big book?
Seth Godin wrote a great article today on the inadequacies of speech as a training tool:
Speech is both linear and unpaceable. You canât skip around and you canât speed it up. When the speaker covers something you know, you are bored. When he quickly covers something you donât understand, you are lost.
It is a fantastic means of inciting something from listeners, but not to stand in front of a group of people and read.
He makes a great point, and I think it has a lot of relevance to the rise of podcasting. Everything is podcasted now. The only things that make podcasts better than blogs is that you can (a) get to know the speaker on a more personal level or (b) listen to it in your car. With all the podcasts out there, how much driving can you possibly do? If I listen to five minutes of a 40-minute podcast, it means I was really interested (but I got other things to do).
I think the assumption that people see a teacher standing in front of a class as more efficient is that it is the only ‘proof’ that the students heard what was saying. Ridiculous, but I suppose some people just don’t read.
I know as a software developer, I can pay thousands of pound for a 5-day course which loosely covers a technology or programming language. Or, I could buy a very good book for Â£50 which would give me 20 times more information and I could devour it in those same five days.
At interviews, are they more impressed with me taking a course or reading a book? They always go for the course.